“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~ Buckminster Fuller
Your clients and prospects are probably on their smart phones for hours each day. In fact, the chances are they’re using them for just about everything except making phone calls…
- Checking email
- Social media
- Audio books
- … And that’s just the consumption side. There are also all the creation opportunities!
My father is 96 and he spends more time checking things on his phone than he does on the computer these days. My clients and prospects also have their phones with them just about all the time and they appreciate the opportunity to read or listen to material on their phone rather than having to do it at the computer because it sets them free to listen while:
- Travelling to and from work;
- Taking a walk;
- Waiting for people to arrive…
Convenience really does matter and while sometimes you need to be in a position to take notes to get the greatest benefit, the mere fact that you’ve listened to the material is a plus. In addition, you can always hit pause and change to Drafts or your favourite text capture app to capture anything important and some apps even let you take notes and bookmark items inside the course as you go which is fantastic because it’s easy to come back later and jump straight to the parts you want to review.
The reality is that phones are the most ubiquitous piece of technology these days, so it makes sense to work with the behaviour that already exists and use that behaviour make people’s lives better. There is some convincing data about the impact of apps on course consumption and completion rates… And, of course, the more people immerse themselves in what you have to offer and do the work, the greater impact you have.
Which brings us to the big question…
What Is Your Intention: Sales or Consumption?
A person who buys your course or coaching is spending money. The person who consumes your course or coaching and implements what you’re teaching is investing in themselves and their skills.
Ben Settle, a marketing genius and one of the people I listen to carefully when it comes to pricing and positioning sells some expensive books. The cheapest of them are close to USD$300 on sale. The price is actually irrelevant, his position is that he wants them to expensive enough to make people pause and commit to consuming the content. He doesn’t want people to buy them and put them on the shelf.
People who won’t use the information, shouldn’t buy it. They’re wasting their money. Those who buy (mostly) then sit down and absorb the principles and make money out of applying them in their own business. I can’t think of a single one of Ben’s books that hasn’t given me a massive ROI.
The coaches, consultants, and service providers I know have a similar desire to make people’s lives better… but that doesn’t happen until you use the information you receive.
Putting those two elements together…
PHONE => UBIQUITOUS ACCESSS
GOAL = MAXIMISE CONSUMPTION
It makes sense to talk about investing in your own app, doesn’t it?
But here’s what I’ve discovered…
The Truth About Most Business Apps
They’re Expensive AND They Suck!
Not a great combination!
One of my friends has just spent / invested (the jury is still out on that) nearly USD$100,000 on an app for their business. It was supposed to go live in January and was released at the start of May. I logged in with great excitement…
Only to find that I have access to their podcasts and blogs, but no coaching or courses. It turns out that although it was their plan to offer those things through the app their developer is going to need substantially more money to get that. For blogs and a podcast you’re probably better sticking to your website and the Apple store… Although you do get their email address when they log in.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only frustrating app-sperience I’ve had recently. Another of my mentor/coaches has just just launched his app in beta. It’s got some nifty features like scoring your day and journalling – but I’m not sold. For starters, once my journal entry is in the app, the only way to get it out is to copy and paste it tediously on my phone. I’m not a fan of proprietary content like that so I probably won’t use it for that anyway. This app has more features, but I understand it has already cost several hundreds of thousands to develop, which is simply not feasible for most business owners.
Unless you’re a full-fledged developer (and even then, I’ve heard it’s extremely complex and costly to do right), building a usable app from scratch or hiring someone else to do it for you is simply not a viable business investment. You either have to sit with a very basic version, or else pour buckets of money into it.
BUT… There are a few options that you might want to consider using
What Are Your Affordable App Options
Most businesses will be best served by choosing an app within an app.
What is an ‘App within an App’?
It means that your customer downloads a container app from the Apple or Google store and your app appears within it. Two that I’ve used extensively in this way are Kajabi and Learnistic. It may confuse some of your clients when you ask them to download an app that doesn’t show your icon on the front, but that is a very small price to pay for the power and features you’ll find within the app once you get it. For the price, this is a steal!
I’ve written about Kajabi at length HERE or you can take it for a test drive HERE and I think that they are an excellent solution if your focus is delivering courses and also if you like a solution that has a several years of branding behind it. Kajabi has just received a $550 million dollar VC infusion as well (May 2021) – but that could be a two-edged sword. For Kajabi, the desktop platform is the primary base, but the apps are very solid.
Learnistic was developed as an App first platform. As their sales page tells you (See https://learnistic.com), the platform is undergoing rapid development and has a regular infusion of features. From a consumer perspective, I love the ability to make notes within a course and export them to any platform I want and it’s easy to see if you have already completed a course. From a marketing and business perspective, my favourite feature is that you can control access and enable in-app purchases right from your phone. If you don’t want to, you don’t really need to use a computer at all.
Because both Kajabi and Learnistic are wrapper apps, you don’t need to jump through all the approvals and permissions that the app stores impose so it’s much easier to get started – and honestly, if you’re running coaching, consulting, or most service businesses, you’re probably better with a cheaper app that has more usability features and will help your clients consume more of your content, than a vanity app that is rather bare-bones.
After all, if your goal is to get people to consume your material, implement it, and get results, then that’s what you want to focus on doing.
N.B. Kajabi links are affiliate links. I’m a founding member and I use and recommend Kajabi extensively. Learnistic links are not affiliate links – it’s just a platform that I think is awesome (and also use and recommend extensively.